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thirty minutes were profitably spent. It was in this way " the battle of Lake Erie was won, by the personal exertions of Commodore Perry."
It was scarcely surpassed by Paul Jones, in the revolutionary war, when he,“ at the head of a little privateer,” fought the whole British fleet of twenty-three sail of the line."
The inquiry has often been made: Who killed Tecumseh? The answer is attended with more difficulty than is generally supposed. The proof is contradictory. The cir. cumstances stated by many are impossible, and some of them inconsistent with each other. In one respect the witnesses all agree, and in one only : “ That Tecumseh was killed at the battle of the Thames.” That Colonel Johnson, from his situation, might have done it, and probably did—but of this there is no certainty, nor is it essential to Colonel Johnson's fame to have it so.
The grave of Tecumseh, it is said, was visible a few years since, near the borders of a willow-marsh, on the north line of the battle-ground, with a large fallen oak tree lying beside it. He was there left alone in his glory.” The British government, having previously appointed him a brigadier-general, afterward granted a pension to his widow and family.
“ Higgins was insensible for several days, and his life was preserved by continual care. His friends extracted two of the balls from his thigh ; two, however, yet remained one of which gave him a good deal of pain. Hearing, afterward, that a physician had settled within a day's ride of him, he determined to go and see him. The physician (whose name is spared,) asked him fifty dollars for the operation. This Higgins flatly refused, saying it was more than a half year's pension. On reaching home, he found the exercise of riding had made the ball discernible ; he requested his wife, therefore, to hand him his
With her assistance, he laid open his thigh, until the edge of the razor touched the bullet ; then inserting his two thumbs into the gash,' he flirted it out, as he used to say, ' without costing him a cent.' The other ball yet remained ; it gave him, however, but little pain, and he carried it with him to his grave.
“ Higgins died in Fayette county, Illinois, a few years since. He was the most perfect specimen of a frontier man in his day, and was once assistant door-keeper of the House of Representatives, in Illinois.”
The above account is taken principally from a newspaper. Its writer is unknown. The facts, however, therein stated, are familiar to many, and were first communicated to the author by one of the justices of the Supreme Court of this State. They have since been confirmed by others, to whom Higgins was personally known, and there is no doubt of their correctness.
Illinois admitted into the Union December 3rd, 1818—Its territorial Government before
Ninian Edwards Governor-Property of the State on its admission-Conditions, etc.—Taxes of residents and non-residents alike-Navigation of the MississippiSpanish conspiracy-General Wilkinson-Judge Sebastian and others—Purchase of Louisiana, 1801—Burr's conspiracy, 1806—Steamboats introduced, 1812-Barges, Flat-bottomed boats, etc.-Convention meets to form a Constitution for the State, at Kaskaskia, 1818–Constitution adopted—Its provisions-Boundaries of the State - Attempts to alter them--Governor Doty-Attempts abandoned.
Illinois, we have already remarked, was admitted into the Union, and became an independent State, on the 3rd of December, 1818. Previous to that time, and after the peace of 1783, it had been a part of Virginia ; afterward a part of the Northwestern Territory; then a part of the Indiana Territory; and lastly, a territory of itself, including Wisconsin. It had passed also through two grades (the first and second,) of territorial government. That each may be understood, some further remarks are requisite.
In addition to the claim set up by Virginia, as patentee of the immense region bounded by the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and by Canada, known and distinguished for many years as the Northwestern Territory-which claim she successfully asserted by force of arms, and held afterward by right of conquest-Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, respec. tively advanced similar ones each to a portion. Vague, however, as they were—too much so to deserve serious consideration—they embarrassed, for some time, the councils of the nation, not on account of their merits, but the pertinacity with which they were urged.
It was by many contended that a vacant territory, wrested from the common enemy by the united arms and common treasure of all the States, belonged of right to the Union. However plausible the argument and just the conclusion, with some it was anything else than satisfactory. In the first place it was not, said the Virginians, a vacant territory, being a part of the old original patent of Virginia; in the second place, it was conquered, not by the arms of the whole, but by the arms of Virginia only; and in the third place, it was, for many years, held and occupied exclusively by Virginia ; her jurisdiction having been, during that time, extended over it, and justice having been administered in her name. Hence the difficulty, serious we admit; and hence, too, the necessity of cession by a part, for the joint benefit of the whole.
New-York first released her interest therein to the confederated States, for a certain purpose specified in the deed of cession, as we have already
seen; Virginia, in 1784, did the like; and Massachusetts, also, in 1785; Connecticut, in 1786, made her tardy sacrifice for the general good, and received in lieu thereof a donation of lands, which afterward laid the foundation of her school fund. Virginia, in her deed of cession, merely required, that the territory northwest of the Ohio, should be divided into not less than three nor more than five States, according to the ordinance afterward made by Congress, in 1787, before referred to; that the French settlers should be confirmed in their possessions; and that certain lands should be reserved for the use of George Rogers Clarke, and the officers and soldiers who served under him in the memorable expedition which, in 1778, terminated in its conquest.
The United States having become its sole proprietor, Congress, shortly thereafter, passed the celebrated ordinance of July 13th, 1787; which originated in great wisdom, and has since been regarded as an act of the highest importance. In it we find the noblest sentiments of benevolence, and the soundest maxims of civil polity.
On the 7th of August, 1789, soon after the Constitution of the United States was adopted, a government over the Northwestern Territory was established by Congress, and Arthur St. Clair appointed its first governor.
On the 7th of May, 1800, the Northwestern Territory was divided, and two separate territorial governments were formed ; the western division, including Illinois, was called Indiana, and William H. Harrison, late President of the United States, was appointed its first governor.
On the 3rd of February, 1809, all that part of tae Indiana territory, which lies west of the Wabash river, and a direct line from the river at Vincennes, due north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, was constituted a separate territory by the name of Minois; and Ninian Edwards was appointed its first governor. The Territory of Illinois, in 1809, it will therefore be seen, included the present State of Illinois, and the whole of the Wisconsin 'Territory.
On the 20th of May, 1812, Illinois passed from the first to the second grade of territorial government; and, for the first time, sent a delegate to Congress. The right of suffrage was, at the same time, extended to all its inhabitants, and the property qualifications required by the ordinance of 1787, in the voter, was abolished.
By the above ordinance, the territorial governments of the first grade were organized by the appointment of a governor, who held his office for three years; to reside in the district, and have a freehold estate therein of one thousand acres of land ; a secretary, who held his office for four years, to reside also in the district, and have a freehold estate of five hundred acres of land ; and a court, to consist of three judges, to reside in the district, and have a freehold estate therein each of five hundred acres of land. These several officers were appointed by the President and Senate of the United States; and the latter held their commissions during good behavior.
The governor and judges, or a majority of them, were required to adopt and publish in the district, such laws of the original States, criminal and civil, as should be necessary and best suited to the circumstances of the district, and report them to Congress from time to time; which laws should be in force in the district until the organization of a General Assembly therein, unless disapproved of by Congress.
All magistrates and civil officers, and all military officers under the rank of brigadier-general, were appointed by the governor; and the sole power of dividing the district into counties and townships was vested in the latter. Under a government thus constituted, Illinois continued from 1809 till 1812, when she entered upon the second grade of territorial
The governor, appointed and commissioned, as before ; a Legislative Council, consisting of five members, and a House of Representatives elected by the people, were now authorized to make laws “ for the government of the district, not repugnant to the principles and articles established and declared in the ordinance above alluded to.” The Legislative Council were appointed by the president and Senate, and commissioned by the former; and to be selected from a list of ten persons to be furnished by the House of Representatives in the district. A delegate to Congress was also elected by the people, with a right to speak, but not to vote in that body.
Under this form of government Ilinois continued from 1812 till 1818, at which time she was admitted into the Union a free and sovereign State.
On her admission in the manner above mentioned, one section, of six hundred and forty acres of land, in each township, was granted to its inhabitants for the use of common schools; all salt springs within the State, and lands reserved for the same, were granted to the State, with a proviso, that the latter should never sell them or lease them, for a longer period than ten years at any one time. Five per cent. out of the net proceeds of all land sales within its limits, were also given to the State, two-fifths of which were to be disbursed by Congress, in making roads thither; and the residue to be appropriated by its Legislature, for the encouragement of learning ; of which last, one-sixth part was to be exclusively be. stowed on a college or seminary. Two entire townships were also granted to the State for the use of a seminary of learning.
The people of Illinois became thus invested with one thirty-sixth part of the whole area of the State, for the use of common schools ; and with two entire townships for the use of a seminary of learning. She became entitled, also, to two-and-a-half per cent. on all moneys received for lands sold within the State, to be appropriated by ics Legislature for the encouragement of learning ; and one-half of one per cent., to be exclusively bestowed upon a college or seminary. The saline lands belonged also to the State in fee; and two per cent. on all moneys received for lands sold within it, were to be appropriated by Congress in the construction of a road, or roads leading thither. A more ample provision surely, for education and internal improvements, can nowhere else be found.
In consideration whereof, the State of Illinois agreed to exempt from taxation all lands sold by the United States, “ for five years, from and after the day of sale.” (See note 1.) The State of Illinois agreed also to exempt from taxation all lands granted for military services during the late war, for the term of three years, from and after the date of the patents respectively. The State also agreed that all lands belonging to citizens of the United States, residing without the State of Illinois, should never be taxed higher than lands belonging to persons within the State. (See note 2.) These several provisions were declared to be irrevocable without the consent of Congress.
Illinois, during the existence of its territorial government, presents for contemplation but few incidents, other than those already mentioned. Circumstances, however, of an important nature occurred in its vicinity, which had a tendency to affect its prospects in several particulars; and although its population did not participate directly therein, those inci. dents, from their character, require to be considered.
Emigrants had no sooner crossed the Alleghany mountains, than the navigation of the Mississippi river became indispensable to the prosperity of the numerous rising States growing up in its valley. Louisiana, how. ever, was at that time a province of Spain ; and the navigation of the Mississippi being interrupted, the right to its navigation became a subject of deep and enduring interest, and occasioned, of course, much ani. mated, and some angry, discussion. If the confederated States could not, or would not, procure from the Spanish authorities an acknowledg. ment of the right of the western people to navigate that river, the prosperity of those who had sought the West, in order to make homes for themselves and their children, would be essentially impaired; and the ligaments which bound them to the American Union would be weakened exceedingly, and perhaps severed entirely asunder.
The old confederation, having been somewhat remiss in this part of their duty; many, we have no doubt, listened, and perhaps with favor, to proposals made by Spain. Hence the “Spanish conspiracy,” which in 1788, and for several years thereafter, agitated this whole community, and threatened at one time to sever the Union.
General Wilkinson, who had previously located himself in Kentucky, became immediately a conspicuous politician, and advocated the erection of an independent government. Kentucky, it will be observed, was not then admitted into the Union. Wilkinson was immediately charged with being an emissary of Spain; but with what justice, it is difficult to determine. The charge, however, must have been discredited, or the affair regarded by the people of Kentucky as one of no great magnitude, he having repeatedly thereafter been elected a member of their conventions.
Mr. Innis, Mr. Nicholas, Judge Sebastian, and others, men of talents and standing, were implicated also. While, however, crimination and recrimination pervaded the whole country, the most prominent men in Louisiana, as well as in Kentucky, became satisfied that their respective